210: ahhh, much better

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Oh, you guys.  

You are so awesome. Thank you for all of the hugs and good vibes. I love hugs and good vibes!

My last post seemed to resonate with a lot of you.
I know that many people struggle the way I do and I blog about it on purpose because I think it's good for all of us to be reminded that we are not alone. There is still a stigma around depression so I strive to  talk about it just as readily and openly as I would talk about having a great day.
Why shouldn't I?
I am not talking about wallowing  (although I do have my moments) but acknowledging it. Owning it. And yes, doing what I know I need to do to get through it. And maybe by being myself, I am providing a comfortable and safe place for you to talk about your own experience, to remind yourself what works for you, and to know that you are not alone, just as I am not. I hope so.

Thank you for taking the time to comment, to send me hugs or email or share about your day. I felt comforted and supported reading your words.  

I said I would report back on my feel-better-strategy, so here I am.
I did drink a bunch of water and ate lightly, which definitely was necessary.
I gardened all day and even took some pictures to show you:

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I am in love with the colors of that iris on the right. 

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I potted up a bunch of annuals:

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It was hot! I love the heat. Heat and sun are good for this delicate hothouse flower. I am talking about me, in case you didn't catch that.

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Sweating, working hard- I love it. It works out my physical stress and leaves me wrung out, in a good way. 

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And working with flowers,  a living thing that  I am caring for- that's good for my heart, too. The colors, the beauty- food for my eyes.

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Getting something done, that sense of accomplishment. Yes. Good.

I spent a few hours painting  in the evening, as I said I would. I didn't really work on  anything I loved, but I took pleasure in  the feeling of smooshing around the paint with the brush, of incising into a wet layer to reveal what was underneath. 

This morning, I started a new visual journal.
I spent a while messing around with some gouache:

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See  my giant five-head?

Note to self:

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I am the one who needs to  help myself out of the depths. I am the one who chooses what I eat, how much exercise I get, how I spend my time. 

I love playing in my journals,  freely doodling or writing or painting. It doesn't have to look good, but sometimes it does and that's a nice surprise. It's not about making something pretty or perfect, it's about expressing myself, allowing myself the freedom to experiment and enjoy the process. Sometimes it's a lot of writing to work something out. Sometimes it's writing reminders like the one above. Other times I write quotes or something I hear that strikes a chord. Sometimes I stick down receipts or magazine clippings or cool looking candy wrappers. It doesn't really matter what I do, just that I do it.

After spending an hour or so on my new journal this morning, without even realizing I felt any different, I came downstairs, headed into the front yard and did some cartwheels (ok, round-offs plus.  I still can't do cartwheels!), attempted some headstands, even trying a handstand for the first time ! (trying being the operative word) 

Out of nowhere, I just felt like doing those things- I didn't even have time to formulate it into a thought, like, "Hey, I think I'll ...."  I just walked out the door and started.  That was neat.

Then I needed a snack:

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Mmmmm. Stilton, grannysmiths, craisins and ginger spread. Oh, yum. 

Then later, I headed off to a good friend's bridal shower, which I was actually looking forward to. See, with my circle of friends, it wouldn't be a regular bridal shower with endless opening of gifts. That kind of shower- I'm sorry-I dread. I  go to those and I  have fun, but I don't look forward to them.

Today's shower was more of a celebration of Jen. A kind of rite of passage to mark her transition into marriage. We are all so thrilled that at 46, Jen has finally found real love, safe love, true love.

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We used face paints to paint her arms and legs and face.

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There was an offering of joyful dance:

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People shared poems they wrote for Jen ( the kind that bring tears to your eyes), some simple gifts, good food.

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It was lovely.

I did say there was good food, so my eating lightly didn't last through the day! But I didn't overdo it.

And since I am feeling better, eating half a pint of Ben and Jerry's won't be overdoing either, which I am about to do... right...about....now. 

xo, m